October 15, 2011

Katherine Grace "Katy" Coffee

Katherine Grace Coffee
A recent tragedy in New Castle, Weston Co., WY is the yet unsolved murder of a young woman by the name of Katherine Grace "Katy" Coffee, and which spurred a search for her ancestry.

Katy was born on Jan. 12, 1976 in Kerrville, Kerr Co., TX to Harold Alan and Bobbie Stoebe Coffee.  She was murdered on Jun. 3, 2011 in New Castle where she had been newly hired as a district conservationist in Newcastle.

Katy's father was a son of Walter Cleve and Irene Elizabeth Gutschow Coffee. Walter was a son of Clyde M. and Abbie E. Griff Coffee. Up to now, few if any researchers knew who Clyde had married. I discovered her in the Texas birth records for their children, Walter Cleve and Tom Franklin Coffee.

This family goes back to the mythical Chesley. Beginning with Clyde, whose parents were Cleaveland C. and Mattie Leonora Swagerty Coffey. Cleaveland was a son of Mansel Matthews and Georgiana Frances Reynolds Coffee. Mansel was the son of Logan McMillon and Mary Elizabeth Ragland Coffee. Logan was the son of James and Elizabeth Coffey Coffey. James appears to be the son of Joel and Martha Stepp Coffey while Elizabeth was the daughter of Nathan and Mary Saunders Coffey. Both Nathan and Joel are currently thought to be sons of mythical Chesley and Jane Cleveland Coffey.

The Coffee spelling is thought to go back to Logan and Mary when they lived in Jackson Co., AL. The family, I believe (based on an obituary) thought incorrectly that they were descended from Gen. John Coffee of that state. Part of the obituary for Mansel (1839-1891) reads:
"His family is intimately connected with the history of this country as far back as Gen'l Coffee who, was second in command at the Battle of New Orleans in 1816."
That part was lined out by someone else by the time I received a copy.

The following appeared in a news article found at Trib.com, a website for the Wyoming Star-Tribune:
On the morning of June 3, 2011, the body of Katherine Grace Coffee, age 35, was discovered in her home in Newcastle, WY, the victim of an apparent homicide. The death is being investigated by the Newcastle Police Department and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. Anyone that has information about the crime or has knowledge of Coffee's whereabouts on the evening and night time hours of Thursday, June 2, 2011 are asked to call the Newcastle Police Department at (307)746-4486. Coffee's family has offered a $25,000 reward to anyone that can provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction or the person/s involved in this crime.

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